Sebastián Báez, ATP
Sebastían Báez has a record of 17-7 in 2024; the two titles he's won so far this year have been on clay Staff

SEATTLE - Following the conclusion of the "Sunshine Double" as Indian Wells and the Miami Open come to an end, the surfaces of both the ATP and WTA tour will switch the hard courts for the hot clay ones, as clay season gets underway.

Year after year, the month of April comes with the return of clay surfaces, making the ball bounce higher and sit up more, thus making the pace of play much slower. These changes on how to approach games on this surface might benefit Latino players this year, with some of them living the best moments of their professional careers so far this year.

ATP/WTA Masters 500/1000 tournaments during clay season

  • Credit One Charleston Open (WTA 500, 30 March-7 April)
  • Monte Carlo Masters (ATP Masters 1000, 6-14 April)
  • Porsche Tennis Grand Prix (WTA 500, 13-21 April)
  • Barcelona Open (ATP 500, 13-21 April)
  • Mutua Madrid Open (WTA & ATP 1000, 22 April-5 May)
  • Rome Masters (WTA & ATP 1000, 6-19 May )
  • Internationaux de Strasbourg (WTA 500, 15-25 May)
  • Roland Garros (Grand Slam, 20 May-9 June)

With a handful of elite tournaments taking place between now and the start of Roland Garros, Latin American players will seek for statement wins that can guarantee them an opportunity to compete in the tour's second Grand Slam of the year.

Argentine Tomás Etcheverry, currently ranked 30th in the ATP's men's rankings, will compete at the U.S. Men's Clay Court Championship in Houston, Texas. The Argentine will be one of the favorites to earn the silverware, as he reached the final of the same tournament last year, losing to the American Frances Tiafoe in two sets.

Etcheverry is having a pretty good year in the tour so far, reaching two quarterfinals at the Buenos Aires and Córdoba Opens while also reaching the Round of 32 at the Australian Open before falling to Novak Djokovic in three sets. Fellow countryman Francisco Cerúndolo will also participate in Houston before both Argentine's take on the Masters 1000 tournament in Monte Carlo.

Alongside Etcheverry, Cerúndolo is one of 11 Latin American players to currently be ranked inside the ATP's top 100 male players in the world. Argentina is the Latin American country with the most representatives in the top 100 contributing with seven players. Chile (2), Colombia (1) and Brazil (1) complete the set.

Sebastián Báez is the highest Latino on the list, ranking at 19th in the world. His recent victory at the ATP 250 Santiago Open represented Argentina's 234th title at an ATP event. Báez will also compete in Monte Carlo hoping to improve the first-round exit he got from last year.

Baéz is Latin America's best tennis player at the moment, amassing a 17-7 record so far this year to go along with his two titles, both on clay. The two ATP titles accomplished by the Argentine in 2024 take him to a total of six throughout his career, good enough to break into the top 10 of Argentine's with the most ATP titles in history.

Most ATP titles - Argentine players (men's)

  • 1. Guillermo Vilas (62)
  • 2. José Luis Clerc (25)
  • 3. Juan Martín Del Potro (22)
  • 4. Martín Jaite (12)
  • 5. David Nalbandian (11)
  • 6. Guillermo Pérez Roldan, Guillermo Coria, Juan Mónaco (9)
  • 7. Gastón Gaudio (8)
  • 8. Guillermo Cañas (7)
  • 9. Juan Ignacio Chela, Sebastián Báez (6)
  • 10. Horacio de la Peña, Diego Schwartzman (4)

With less than two months to go before the second Grand Slam of the tennis season, this could finally be the Summer in which Latinos leave their mark -once again- at a high profile tennis tournament. In the history of tennis, only three Latinos have achieved a Grand Slam on this type of surface.

In 1977, Argentine Guillermo Vilas was the first one to do so by winning the French Open. Ecuadorian Andrés Gómez followed his feat in 1990 and finally, Brazilian Gustavo Kuerten, won it a Latin American-record three times between 1997, 2000 and 2001.

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